SAO PAULO | By Benjamin Cole via Marcus Nunes’s Historinhas | The results are in, and it appears the Fed’s use of QE—faltering, dithering, at times mindlessly circumscribed in advance—was moderately successful in helping the U.S. climb out of recession. Europe is still mired in econo-gloom, courtesy of the ECB’s monetary noose around its neck. Japan may only now be fighting its way out of perma-gloom by way of aggressive QE. The U.S., in contrast, has posted slow growth since the end of the 2008-09 “great recession”.
MADRID | The Corner | The leading indicators of the manufacturing sector both in Europe and the US will be announced on Monday. China’s indicators showed an economic slowdown of the sector, which could force the government to implement new stimuli measures. Together with the service sector index, which has a bigger impact on the developed economies, these indicators will show -again, two divergent scenarios: 1) the American economy keeps on growing at a good pace after two quarters in which the GDP increased more than 4% on average, 2) the economy of the Eurozone continues its slow expansion, but there is a threat of stagnation, according to experts at Link Securities.
SAO PAULO | By Marcus Nunes via Historinhas | Why? According to the “accountants”: “It’s no secret that spending cuts (and tax hikes) have retarded America’s growth for the past four years. But data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis suggests that the era of austerity may finally have ended.” See the “flagship chart” above.
Maury N. Harris, Drew T. Matus, et al. (UBS) | The National Retail Federation (NRF) has released its estimates for a 4.1% y/y rise in holiday sales—among the stronger growth forecasts in recent years. Although sales have fallen short of NRF expectations in each of the last two years, trends in income and confidence suggest better for this year. Falling energy prices also help.
WASHINGTON | By Pablo Pardo | Having €2.83 trillion in the bank and not knowing what to do with it is a problem that everybody would love to have. But it is actually a really serious problem for 316.1 million Americans, especially for those whose income increased by 0.43% in 2013. And, by extension, for the other 6.8 bn of human beings in the planet. Behind this problem there is a lack of investment opportunities, without which investment in the US will remain in a state of weakness and heavily dependent on an inability to increase consumption.
ZURICH | By UBS analysts | Will a strong dollar much weaken overall U.S. growth and inflation? The answer importantly depends on how much export and import prices respond to changes in the dollar’s foreign exchange value. Exporters may cut dollar prices and profit margins in order to blunt a stronger dollar’s impact on their market shares and volumes. In fact, over the three months through October, dollar prices of nonagricultural exports fell steadily (by a cumulative 1.3%).
By UBS analysts | As the US economic recovery completes its fifth year, direct policy stimulus is no longer being applied, but the economy is poised to move ahead on its own self-generating momentum. Real GDP growth is expected at 2.9% in 2015 and 2.8% in 2016. Less slack in the labor market along with accelerating labor demand should soon be accompanied by somewhat faster wage gains to boost household incomes, confidence and spending. A rising industrial capacity utilization rate should help trigger more sustained gains in capex. And a falling residential rental vacancy rate should further stimulate rents and residential construction.
MADRID | The Corner | As expected, the Fed confirmed the end of its QE3, although the announcement was slightly more restrictive. According to experts at Link Securitites, “while the decision shows that US economic conditions have improved (especially the labour market) and inflation remains at low levels, the message tone was more hawkish.”
ZURICH | UBS | The impact of an EU slowdown on US growth would be minimal: US exports to the EU are a small proportion of GDP (2.8% in 2013), and the secondary effects—the impacts on major US trading partners’ incomes and import demand—are even smaller. For example, a hypothetical 1 percentage point slowing in EU real GDP growth would likely translate into only a 0.1 pct pt drag on US real GDP growth via weaker exports to the EU and to other US trading partners affected by the EU slowing.
SAO PAULO | Benjamin Cole via Marcus Nune’s Historinhas | Well, if a Martin Wolf can call for permanent QE by all Western governments, and if a John Cochrane can suggest the U.S. Federal Reserve should completely liquidate the U.S. national debt, than I guess my USE-ME program is worth trotting out as well. I mean anything goes these days, no?